Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 8 April 2014
Sold for HK$75,000 (£5,780)
It’s not easy to choose a single favourite from the unveilings at the annual Baselworld watch fair. But I remember having little difficulty doing so back in 2007, when the Gérald Genta dial name still existed and the brand used to field its wares amid the vast and imposing structure that was the Bulgari exhibition space.
The Gefica Safari won me over instantly, being the latest interpretation of the original Gefica, first made during the late 1980s as a result of some campfire discussion between three big game hunters, called GEoffroy, FIssore and CAnali, regarding what would make the ideal hunting watch.
Like the original, the 2007 re-issue featured an anti-reflective bronze case, upgraded from the previously puny 33mm to a contemporary 46.5mm, with titanium rings decorated with a bead pattern said to have been inspired by tribal body painting. The domed winding crown was similarly adorned, while the dished dial was made to resemble a volcanic crater and made from brass galvanised with a choice of bronze finishes, and topped with a distinctive convex crystal.
I still regret not buying one, especially since prices are now well and truly on the rise. The example sold at Sotheby’s more than doubled expectations, going for a good 20 per cent more than the original retail price.